Oneida County Executive Anthony  Picente is praising the success of the county’s first-year FreshStart work training program.

The program is a partnership between the Oneida County Office of Workforce Development and the Utica Municipal Housing Authority.

It targets young adults who are unemployed and not currently enrolled in high school or college.

The inaugural class consisted of a dozen 18 to 24 year-olds from Utica who worked at MHA sites performing maintenance, painting and other labor.

The group worked 400 hours each over a span of about three months, making $11.10 an hour.

“The young adults in this program gained skills they can use for future employment, as well as a new-found confidence in their abilities, a stronger foundation to tackle their futures and work experience that will show employers they can be an integral part of a successful work team,” Picente said. “I congratulate them on their completion of this program, and thank our Workforce Development staff and the MHA for providing them with the tools be successful. This program is a clear example of how an effective collaborative partnership can have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

For more information on FreshStart and other Out of School Youth programs, contact the Oneida County Workforce Development Office at (315) 798-5908.